The new american's pathway ensures new americans in metro atlanta can become successful, contributing, and welcomed member of georgia's communities.

our mission

New American Pathways is an Atlanta based nonprofit with the mission of Helping Refugees and Georgia Thrive. Our vision is for new Americans in metro Atlanta to become successful, contributing, and welcomed members of Georgia’s communities. We fulfill our goals by offering the most comprehensive, fully integrated continuum of services targeted to meet the specific needs of refugees and other immigrants in Georgia.

Our services support new Americans on their individual pathways from arrival through citizenship with programs that focus on four key milestones along the pathway – Safety & Stability, Self-Sufficiency, Success, and Service. Programs work in concert to guide new Americans on their individual pathways to long-term success.

The girls standing in front of their school laughing

| Our Leadership

Padia Mixon, the New American Pathways CEO

Paedia Mixon

Chief Executive Officer

EDUCATION:
Master of International Affairs and Development, Clark Atlanta University
BA in Political Science, International Affairs, Georgia State University

EXPERIENCE:
Paedia has worked at New American Pathways (and its predecessor Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta) for fifteen years and has over twenty years’ experience in refugee service. Paedia is a leader in Georgia’s refugee and immigrant serving community and has helped to create a culture of collaboration among service providers that sets Georgia apart. She was a founding member and the first chair of the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA), a 21 member advocacy coalition that works to ensure Georgia is a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees. She led the successful merger of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta and Refugee Family Services from initial concept through the creation of New American Pathways on October 1, 2014. In 2019, she helped create the Welcome Co-op, a shared services organization that provides logistics support to local resettlement agencies at a time of change in federal policy.

Under Paedia’s leadership, New American Pathways’ has created a comprehensive service model that guides a refugee’ s journey from arrival through citizenship, diversified funding to reduce dependence on the federal government and launched new programs supporting career advancement and civic engagement. Prior to New AP, Paedia served in programming and fundraising roles at Junior Achievement Worldwide, the Carter Center and Catholic Social Services. She is an alum of Leadership Atlanta (2016), Leadership DeKalb (2012), Harvard Business School’s Executive Nonprofit Leadership Program for “Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management” (2013), and Fanning Institute’s Executive Leadership Program in Non-profit Organizations (2010).

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING AT NEW AP?
What I love most about New American Pathways is our team. The people who work at New AP are among some of the most passionate, skilled and hard working people I have ever met. Our team members come from all over the world and bring a wide range of skills, ideas and perspectives to our work. Our commitment to the mission brings us together as family.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO IN ATLANTA?
I moved a lot when I was a kid and Atlanta is the first place I really ever thought of as home. My husband, daughter and I live in the city and we love it! There are so many things I like to do in Atlanta but my favorite is dressing up and going to Dragoncon with my daughter.

YOU’RE SPENDING THE DAY IN CLARKSTON. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
I am eating lunch at Merhaba Shwarma, shopping for African jewelry at Johari Africa and meeting a community partner for coffee at Refuge Coffee.

Paula Scotman

Chief Financial Officer

EDUCATION:
Master of Science, Nonprofit Management Finance, The New School University
Master of Divinity,  Pastoral Care and Counseling, Emory University
Bachelor of Accounting, Herbert Lehman College

EXPERIENCE:
Paula has 20 years of experience in non-profit financial management and human resources. Her career began in New York where she worked as a contract auditor with KPMG, conducting nonprofit and government audits. She later worked as the Senior Director of Finance and Systems for Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program.

Most recently Paula worked as the Associate Director of Finance at Emory University’s Campus Life Finance Service Center. There she managed a budget of $47M and was responsible for the daily finance and human resource operations for Campus Life Residence Life & Housing. In 2013 she received a Humanitarian Award from Emory University for her work with various non-profit organizations. She is currently an active volunteer with Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and other community nonprofit organizations.

WHY NEW AP?
I enjoy working at New AP because of the mission. Helping immigrants and refugees thrive in Georgia is great work that will strengthen future generations within each family we serve.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO IN ATLANTA?
I enjoy walking the Beltline with friends.

YOU’RE SPENDING THE DAY IN CLARKSTON. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
I’m having a cup of coffee at Refuge Coffee.

Paula Scotman, the New American Pathways CFO
Nancy Gaddy, the New American Pathways CAO

Nancy Gaddy

Chief Advancement Officer

EDUCATION:
Master of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University 
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Southern Methodist University 

EXPERIENCE:
Nancy Gaddy has over 20 years of experience working with non-profit organizations across the southeast, engaged in fundraising and external affairs. As Regional Director of Philanthropy with Mercy Housing, the nation’s largest non-profit provider of affordable housing, Nancy was responsible for all fundraising, marketing, community and media relations activities throughout Mercy Housing’s southeast geographic footprint. Nancy has directed fundraising and external communications for arts and cultural organizations, including the High Museum of Art, Georgia Public Broadcasting, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and she led the $131 million capital campaign to build the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING AT NEW AP?
As the granddaughter of refugees, I have a strong personal connection to what it means to flee your homeland due to religious or political persecution. Lives absolutely depend on the work of New American Pathways. I love the work we do and am grateful for the opportunity use my talents and abilities to advance our cause.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO IN ATLANTA? 
I love exploring the city and finding new and wonderful activities to engage in every single day.

YOU’RE SPENDING THE DAY IN CLARKSTON. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
I enjoy checking out all of the ethnic eating and shopping within such close proximity to each other.

Carey Serafin

Director of Programs

EDUCATION: 
Master of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Master of Social Work, Community Practice, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bachelor of Science, Family and Community Services, Berry College

EXPERIENCE:
Carey Serafin has over 12 years of experience working with immigrant populations in the U.S. through previous positions held with New American Pathways and World Relief Atlanta. She previously worked with the Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, helping connect vulnerable communities to local farmers’ markets through a grant with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier in her career, Carey served as the Communications Coordinator for Food For The Hungry’s Child Development Program in Belo Jegenfoy, Ethiopia as well as provided school social work services for Chapel Hill-Carrboro city schools in North Carolina.

WHY NEW AP?
It is a privilege to walk alongside families as they start a new life in Georgia and to play a role in connecting them with the information and services they need. I love that New American Pathways offers a multitude of services that extend well beyond a client’s resettlement period. And I love our diverse staff. Our potlucks are the best!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO IN ATLANTA? 
Grabbing a good book and a good reading spot at the Botanical Garden then heading over to Krog Street Market to eat at Recess, my current restaurant obsession.

YOU’RE SPENDING THE DAY IN CLARKSTON. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Attending one of the many cultural events taking place at the Clarkston Community Center or at Refuge Coffee. Then popping in to someone’s home for a family meal. Especially if it’s Ethiopian!​

Carey Serafin, the New American Pathways Director of Programs
Emily Laney, the New American Pathways Director of Development

Emily Laney

Director of Development

EDUCATION:
Master of Social Work, Kennesaw State University
Bachelor of Science, Human Services and Nonprofit Management, Kennesaw State University

EXPERIENCE:
Emily Laney has over ten years’ experience working with refugees and vulnerable populations; both in the Atlanta area and globally. Prior to her time at New American Pathways, Emily led the Refugee, Immigrant, and Disaster Response programs statewide at Inspiritus, where she grew the departments to serve more clients and launched several new program initiatives. She also has been involved in anti-human trafficking advocacy initiatives in Georgia and has travelled extensively in the developing world. Emily is a licensed social worker for the state of Georgia and also teaches part time in the Human Services Department at Kennesaw State University.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING AT NEW AP?
Working with refugees has been a career long passion of mine, and New American Pathways is truly doing tremendous work in the Atlanta area, so I love being part of an organization that’s making an amazing difference. And our team is passionate, collaborative, and creates a fun work environment. Working at New AP feels like family.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO IN ATLANTA? 
If my husband and I have our toddlers in tow, my favorite thing to do in Atlanta is a morning at the Children’s Museum, followed by lunch at CNN center. If we are kid- free, I love exploring Ponce City Market or having a date night at a Ford Fry restaurant.

YOU’RE SPENDING THE DAY IN CLARKSTON. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
A day in Clarkston is always such a pleasure! I’m likely there to check out one of our programs’ activities or on a site visit with a funder. A stop at Refuge Coffee for a caramel latte is a must, and then I’m likely going to swing in Thrift Town to explore for a bit, followed by grabbing a few orders of Momos at the Nepali Food Mart on Ponc

| Staff

New American Pathways staff photo in their green Georgia shirts

New American Pathways is not only an organization for refugees, we are an organization of refugees

Approximately half of our professional staff are former refugees, with more than 20 languages spoken throughout our organization. All of our programs are delivered by 50 professional staff members who are supported by a 15-member AmeriCorps team and hundreds of volunteers.

| board of directors

CHAIR
Barbara Wiley
Sherrill & Hutchins Financial Advisory, Inc., Retired
CFP, Financial Advisor

VICE CHAIR
Mike Iverson
Trillium Financial CEO

SECRETARY
Tunrola Odelowo
Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
Partner

TREASURER
Matthew Kim
Southern Company Gas
VP and GAS Utilities Controller

Khurram Baig
Attorney
The Baig Firm 

Samir Bajaj
Fiserv 
VP HR International Operations

Umar Bakhsh
Eversheds Sutherland LLP
Intellectual Property Associate

Sean Bedford
Alston & Bird
Senior Associate

John Bottini
Georgia-Pacific, LLC
Environmental Counsel 

Wendy Gutiérrez Cheeks
BlackRock, Director

Lovely Dhillon
Chief Executive Officer
Jodevi Consulting

Duffy Elliott
Elliott & Associates Wealth Advisors, Inc.
Financial Advisor

Elizabeth Hale
Community Volunteer

Jason Korzan
Financial Advisor
Raymond James and Associates

Mitika Leblois
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Examiner, Consumer Compliance

Ellen Ott Marshall
Professor, Emory’s Candler School of Theology

John Pinkard
Senior Manager of Freestyle Business Insights and Analytics for The McDonald’s Division at Coca-Cola

Aisha Rahman
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Risk Assurance Services Director

Jodi Rausch

Tom Rawls
AT&T, Retired
Entertainment Counsel

Constance Thakker
Director of Category Strategy and Innovation Coca-Cola

David Valentine
Bain & Company
Manager

| ADVISORY COUNCIL​

Kevin Abel

Charles Barnwell
Barnwell Consulting, LLCs
Founder and President

Claire Bartlett
Former Wachovia executive;
Former international sales director & consultant
Political/Christian activist

Robert Boas
Retired Senior Litigation Counsel for
The Coca-Cola Company; Founding Board member, RRISA; Former Operations Manager, International Community School

Connie Bryans
Board member, Global Village Project

Gareth Clarke
Senior officer, medical device companies and consultancies; Founding Board Member, RRISA
CEO, IrriMax Corp.

Patti Garrett
Mayor, City of Decatur

Dick James
Commercial apartment owner and manager

Dr. Heval Mohamed Kelli

Justin King
King & Spalding
Partner

Kelley Herd Lugo
Eversheds Sutherland
Senior Business Development Manager

Susan Mittleman
Freelance journalist

Sam Moss
Director of Finance, East Lake Foundation;
Former Wachovia executive; 
Former Managing Director, Gray Ghost Ventures

David Ross
Attorney, former Partner, Powell Goldstein; Founding member and former chair, RRISA board

Marty Speight 
Career Coach
The Darden School at University of Virginia

Ken Stewart
Attorney; Senior Advisor, Industry Strategy, Georgia Tech; former executive, Georgia Pacific; 
former Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development

Adriana Varela
Fragomen Worldwide
Foreign Attorney & Manager Global Client Services

| our history

Two young women attending a ballet

New American Pathways is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created on October 1, 2014, by the merger of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA) and Refugee Family Services (RFS). Prior to the merger, RRISA and RFS shared a deep legacy of service to the refugee community in metro Atlanta. For more than two decades, the organizations provided complementary services ranging from initial resettlement to literacy, employment, youth education and school services, and immigration and citizenship assistance.

Founded in 1977 as part the Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2002, RRISA’s direct service programs (resettlement, employment, education and youth, and immigration) focused heavily on the immediate needs of refugees during their first 180 days in the United States.

RFS, which was introduced in Atlanta in 1994 as a program of Save the Children and became a 501(c)(3) in 1997, had an emphasis on longer-term needs and included programs aimed at women, youth and civic engagement.

As each organization began to consider ways to better serve Georgia’s vulnerable refugee population, the inspiration for a more formal partnership emerged. In December 2012, with support from The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, RRISA and RFS embarked on a thorough and deliberate two-year evaluation process to explore partnership options. This process culminated in the decision to form a single organization that would improve the quality of service and deliver comprehensive services more efficiently under a single roof.

Together as one stronger organization, New American Pathways provides more than 5,000 refugees per year with the necessary tools to rebuild their lives and achieve long-term success. Our specially designed programs provide proven pathways for refugees and other immigrants to realize their full potential and dreams while becoming productive, contributing members of Georgia’s communities.

Due to COVID-19, our services may be different than what is listed. Please contact us before coming to our office.

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